We all have our special memories from childhood … people, events, and the landmarks that mapped out our youth. I’ll never forget walking down the streets of my hometown with the neighborhood kids to hit the Dover Indoor Pool where, for fifty cents, you could use the pool at your leisure for two hours. We usually stopped at Riverbend Variety on the way home to grab some pizza before hiking back to our suburban street, towels wrapped turban-like over wet hair.
But perhaps the coolest place that Dover, NH had to offer a child who became a tween … a teen … and finally an adult was The Strand.
The Strand, which we jokingly referred to as “the ghetto movie theater,” was the place where tickets were significantly lower than the
cleaner more upscale theater in Newington but the popcorn was still good. It was also, like the public indoor pool where Olympian Jenny Thompson once trained, within walking distance of my childhood home.
And now The Strand, where I took in such gems as Bill Cosby’s Ghost Dad and the absolutely horrific (yet somehow worth watching more than once) Drop Dead Fred with my childhood pals, where I held a boy’s hand for the first time, where I saw midnight premieres of the new Star Wars movies, is being turned into … a church.
The Strand has stood empty for more than a year now as its former owner, Michael Spinelli, suffered apparent financial hardships. It was sold at auction in November to Rose Realty LLC, which is in turn renting the iconic (well, for some of us) theater to Restoration …